Think Less to Live More

How much time do you spend in your mind?

I have spent quite a bit of time in my mind, and have realized that I am more fully alive when I am NOT living in my mind.

It’s good to rationalize and make the best choices you can, but it’s even better when you can make those choices without thinking too much. This takes practice…

Would you like to live a more present life, being more in the moment & less in your thoughts?

                                                                        You can. dccd640ba0fe311f5398b77682040cc0

“The birth of the mind is the death of the senses,” says Dan Millman, but it is by living through our senses that make us feel most alive. This is why many people drink alcohol or do drugs; it is because they want to escape their thoughts & live more in the present moment. Well you can reach this state of mind without the use of drugs or alcohol.

So how can we get back to living through our senses in a healthy way? 

Through Mindfulness Meditation: Defined as “Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”

We live in a world where distractions are all around us. The cell phones we carry with us at all times may be our biggest distraction; they have the ability to make you anticipate a text or call, bring you social media updates, or give you some “important” news.  I keep my phone on silent 90% of the time and have most of my notifications turned off. I rarely watch the news because most of it is there to put fear into its watchers.

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So in this World of technology & constant distractions, how can we make time for practicing Mindfulness Meditation?

To begin, you don’t need to make time for practicing Mindfulness Meditation. You can practice it in the morning as you wake up, on your commute to work, during work, and at any moment during your day.

Example of practicing Mindfulness Meditation:

It is nice to take a specific amount of devoted time for Mindfulness Meditation, but when you are just beginning you should try to practice it within your already established daily routines. The next time you are commuting to work, practice observing the things around you. Get into your senses. Don’t think about what you are seeing, see. Don’t think about what you are hearing, hear. Don’t think about what you are feeling, feel. Don’t think about what you are smelling, smell. Taste.

Don’t label the traffic as “good” or “bad,” allow it to be as it is; see it & hear it. Don’t label the weather or other drivers, just observe them, letting go of your thoughts & tapping into your senses. It’s simple, but we make it difficult.

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As you practice this, there will be a tendency for thoughts to arise, and they will. Be patient with your thoughts. Hear them in your head and then go back to observing. Take a deep breath when needed, putting your focus on your breath and then your surroundings, free of judgment.

“Turn on, tune in, drop out,” said Timothy Leary. There are many interpretations of this, but it can also relate to Mindfulness Meditation as you are dropping your thoughts & tuning in to your senses.

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“You’ve become bored to things because they exist only as names to you. The dry concepts of mind obscure your direct perception.” Dan Millman

Millman also discusses this state of mind as Satori, “which is the warrior’s state of being; it occurs when the mind is free of thought, pure awareness; the body is active, sensitive, relaxed, and the emotions are open and free.”

Reading Dan Millmans, Way Of The Peaceful Warrior, has helped me get more into this mindset.

Getting into the present moment helps us stop dwelling on past thoughts, and to stop anticipating the future. Millman says, “Stay in the present. You can do nothing to change the past, and the future will never come exactly as you plan or hope for.  The warrior is here, now. Your sorrow, your fear & anger, regret & guilt, your envy and plans and cravings live only in the past, or in the future.”

Overall Mindfulness Meditation is when you look at everything surrounding you without labeling it or judging it. You don’t look around & think “I see a chair, a cup of water, a tree. I’m tired. I need more money.” You just sit and observe, letting go of thoughts as they arise. This requires practice as all great things do, but it can be done! You don’t need to drink that 6 pack of Bud Light each night to relax. Dilly dilly. Drink in moderation sure, but this mindfulness practice can help you live more fully in a healthier way.

Again, don’t judge your thoughts as they arise, be patient with them.

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Dan Millman

The more you practice this, the more awake and alive you will feel throughout your days. You can practice Mindfulness Meditation wherever you are, and I highly encourage you to practice it everywhere.

Use your thinking mind when you need to take appropriate action, and then take action & live in the moment. Choose to pay attention to your surroundings on purpose. Stop letting your phantom mind drag you backwards. Don’t believe everything you think, we are often wrong anyway. Practice Mindfulness Meditation throughout your day. It won’t always be easy, but you have a choice.

“Old urges continue to arise, but urges do not matter; only actions do. A warrior is as a warrior does…Action always happens in the present, because it is an expression of the body, which can only exist in the here and now. But the mind is like a phantom that lives only in the past or future. It’s only power over you is to draw your attention out of the present.” Millman

Some of the answers to our biggest question are found not in thinking more, but in thinking less. In being in touch with your senses, you are able to live fully.

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Let us get back to our natural and blissful way of living. Regain your curiosity for life. Learn & observe all things.

“There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path. There is no path to love. Love is the path. There is no path to peace. Peace is the path.” Millman

“My name doesn’t matter; neither does yours.  What is important is what lies beyond names and beyond questions.” Millman

I encourage you to listen to and read anything from Dan Millman, Alan Watts, Ram Dass, Eckhart Tolle, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Thich Nhat Hanh & all the many other teachers of living a fuller & happier life in the present moment. You can read a summary of Way Of The Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman, by Clicking Here.

Let me know how you practice mindfulness! I love connecting with like minded individuals.

Dream Big. How I got Involved with Acting

The first time I remember wanting to be an actor was after watching Jim Carrey starring in the movie, The Mask.  I watched it on VHS! Do you remember those?

I enjoyed 27970cd5226fcca6a7ab5d534a4c6a63watching Jim in his many roles as I was growing up, and so he was one of the first people that gave me inspiration to become an actor.

But after getting a little older, I realized that “no-one” can actually become an actor..right?  Wrong.  If no-one could become an actor, how are there actors?  ..“Because they are born into it” or because they “got lucky,” is what many people say..  Oh.

That is the mindset when you grow up in a small town that is 2,000+ miles away from Los Angeles.

So I continued living my life as a kid with little responsibilities, focusing on school, athletics, friends and family….and catching crayfish

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I’m on the right side holding the crayfish above Peter’s head.  Thank you Ginny for the picture!

The older I got, the more people asked what I wanted to do with my life, because that’s what happens when we get older right.

I never really had a good answer for them.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do.  I think that most people don’t know what they want to do so they just choose a generic field to study and then they follow through with it.  They end up living a 9-5 life that they don’t really enjoy so that they can spend their money on a house that is used for sleeping and a car used for driving to work.

Alan Watts says “That’s just stupid to live like that.  Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.”

Ask yourself “What do I really want to do with my life?”

After two years of being undeclared in college, I literally had to choose a major, so I chose Sports Administration with a Business minor.  I thought, “Well I like sports so I’ll try this.”  Throughout the next years when I got closer to graduating, the thoughts of what I want to do with my life came to me again.

I thought, “I think I would really like to be an actor.”  But not knowing how I could become an actor was a big obstacle for me.  Philosopher Alan Watts inspired me in his video “What if Money Was No Object?

After listening to many of Watt’s speeches, as well as reading and listening to Ram Dass, Dan Millman, Dale Carnegie, Steve Jobs, Tim Ferriss & John Lee Dumas, I really knew that I didn’t want to work a 7-3, or 8-4, or 9-5 job that I did not enjoy going to for the next 30-40 years of my life so that I can retire and “be happy.”

(Recent inspiration from: Marcus Aurelius, Eckhart Tolle, Mark Manson, Ryan Holiday, Tony Robbins, Derek Sivers).

So even after knowing I didn’t want to have that 8 hour a day job at somewhere I don’t enjoy, I thought it would be a good idea to get my Masters in Education to become a teacher.

School was never that hard for me, but there were definitely some overwhelming times while I was getting my Masters Degree.  I had the end goal in mind, of getting this degree, so I knew that I was going to get things done whether I felt like it or not.

My First Movie

Anyway right before I began my Master’s Program, there was a movie to be filmed on my Universities Campus (I.U.P.).  That movie was Southpaw, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams and 50 Cent, directed by Antoine Fuqua.

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When I found out about this, I asked myself, “How can I get involved with this movie?”  So I googled information about the movie and found that they were looking for people to play as extras in the movie.  I went to an audition for the movie, they asked some questions, took some pictures and I was on my way.

I didn’t receive a call for weeks, and the movie began filming so I thought that I was not going to get a call.

But one day, I was working as a Sports Information employee in the building where Southpaw was being filmed, the K.C.A.C in I.U.P. and I went to a bathroom.  As I was at the urinal, a man came into the bathroom and went to a urinal nearby (there were only 2 or 3 urinals).  So I struck up a conversation, asking him if he was involved with the movie.  He responded by telling me that he was the director.

It was Antoine Fuqua!  The man who directed Training Day with Denzel Washington.

Anyway, I asked him if he needed any help with the movie and that I would work for free.  He asked if I would like to be an actor.  And I jokingly said, “Well I have the face right?”  We both laughed after we washed our hands and were exiting the bathroom.  Once outside the bathroom he called someone over.  They came over and he told them to get my information down and put me in the movie.

I got a call the next day to be a character as a press/media journalist for the movie during the boxing scenes.  I got paid and also got to personally meet 50 Cent, while being in the vicinity of Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams.

Anyone who has worked on a movie set knows that they are long days, usually between 10-14 hours of work, with a lot of chill time in between shooting scenes.  It’s not for everyone, but I loved it.

I had my first taste of what being on the set of a feature film was like.  It was exhilarating.

I had met another actor on set who told me about an agency he was with in Pittsburgh who frequently sent out casting notices, so I got involved with them after working in this film.

They helped me get into two more huge movies and two tv shows.

The movies were: Concussion & Love The Coopers.

I played a NFL Employee in the movie Concussion and a Diner Patron in Love the Coopers.

The TV shows were: Banshee & Mindhunter.

I played an amish protestor as well as a news reporter in the show Banshee (did multiple episodes), and I played a police officer in Mindhunter.

I recently got into a commercial & a paid student film that I will talk about shortly.

Each set is a unique and wonderful experience.  There is no set that is exactly like the next, which makes acting exciting.  It’s also fun when you get to meet some pretty famous people and work with them.

While I was working as a police officer on the set of Mindhunter (which is on Netflix), I was able to meet and shake the hand of David Fincher, the director who also directed Fight Club, Se7en, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and many more.

David Fincher was awesome.  Everyone respected him on the set and he directed with a confident and knowing vision.  I was also able to talk a bunch with the two main characters, Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany.  They both were very nice to everyone on set and I could tell they were having fun while being serious about their work.

The food on big sets is also delicious.

Anyway, that all began in 2014 during the filming of Southpaw, which aired the next year in 2015.

2018

The year is now 2018.  I moved to Colorado in 2017 and landed an Acting Teacher job in my fifth month of living here.  I was a full time teacher in PA before coming to CO & substitute teaching every day.  I have a local agent, I filmed a real estate commercial in January that is now airing locally, and did a paid student film this past November which I had a blast doing!  That crew was so fun to work with.

I had an audition today, April 4th, that I think went really well, and I have another audition tomorrow.

A long time ago I had a dream of being an actor.  As a child I had a belief that it was possible to become a paid actor, until I grew up and found out that “no-one” becomes an actor.

I’m here to tell you that it’s possible.

Your dream is possible.

Feel free to message me if you have any questions about acting or how to get involved.  If you want to talk about the movies or shows I’ve been in, message me, & I’d love to hear about your acting stories!  Comment below or email me at Kthompson7814@gmail.com.